The 18th century will come alive in Annapolis this weekend as artisans, musicians and actors take up the garb and activities of Colonial days for the eighth annual Founding Fathers' Trades Fair at historic Charles Carroll House.
The fair, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, will include an indenture/apprenticeship program for children 8 and older, a guided tour of the house and gardens, and a taste of the food of the era.
Admission to the fair is $6; $4 for children through 12th grade.
Carroll House, home of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is a restoration-in-progress and the only historic home on the Annapolis waterfront.
Sandria B. Ross, executive director of Charles Carroll House of Annapolis Inc., said the trades fair was begun to celebrate the reopening of the house.
It has become an annual event to help fund the house's educational programs.
"This event recreates a period of time in Charles Carroll's life that hopefully brings history alive and makes history fun," said Ross, who expects 750 to 1,000 visitors at this year's fair.
Beginning at noon Saturday, apprentices (children 8 and older) will sign indenture papers and provide escorts to the tradespeople for 45-minute apprenticeships - which cost $5 each or three trades for $12.
Trades fair Chairman Stephanie R. Zebrowski said she hopes that visitors will gain an understanding of the types of trades that were employed during the 18th century and how they were a crucial part of a developing Annapolis.
The NewArkFife and Drum Corps will announce the opening of the fair at 10 a.m. Saturday. The corps is scheduled to march from the Annapolis City Dock, up Main Street, and back to the waterfront and Carroll House on 107 Duke of Gloucester St.
The corps will make return appearances downtown at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Zebrowski said.
On Sunday, the Caledonian Pipe Band will perform downtown at 11 a.m., before making its way to the house to play at the day's opening at noon. The band will repeat the trek at 1:30 p.m.
A highlight of the fair will be a Saturday evening tavern dinner and show featuring 18th-century recipes and period entertainment in a "mirthful" production, "LaFestival LaFoon," by Lord Foppington & Co., a theater troupe based in Washington.
Tickets are $25, which includes entrance to the trades fair. Dinner reservations are suggested at 410-269-1737, Ext. 1.
Along with becoming apprentices to tradesmen, children can take part in games, enjoy a puppet show and hear stories told by actress Scotti Preston. She will portray a house slave named "Moll," a character adapted from Carroll House records and archives, and tell stories about West African cultures.
Both days of the fair will include demonstrations and authentic products from tradesmen, and afternoon tea in the garden with 18th-century aristocrats.
The house is planning two more fairs - weeklong events in October and April - for area schoolchildren, Ross said.